A Self-assessment Tool for Screening Young Adults at Risk of Type 2 Diabetes Using Strong Heart Family Study Data

Diabetes Educ. 2016 Oct;42(5):607-17. doi: 10.1177/0145721716658709. Epub 2016 Jul 31.


Purpose: The purpose of this study is to characterize risk factors associated with type 2 diabetes in young adults aged 18 to 29 years to develop a noninvasive risk assessment tool for use with younger American populations.

Methods: The self-assessment tool was developed with the Strong Heart Family Study data. A total of 590 young American Indian adults (242 men) who had normoglycemia and were not receiving diabetes treatment were included. Risk factors recommended by the American Diabetes Association were used to assess diabetes risk in these young adults. A logistic regression model was developed to calculate the predicted probability. The area under the receiver operating characteristic curve was used to evaluate the model.

Results: The final model showed that parental history of diabetes, obesity level, alcohol consumption, and high fasting glucose, even within normal range, were significantly associated with onset of prediabetes/diabetes in 5 years. The area under the receiver operating characteristic curve value was 0.68 with original and validated data, indicating that the risk assessment tool had reasonably good discrimination ability.

Conclusions: This new noninvasive screening tool, based on data from American Indian young adults, has potential to screen young adults' early-onset diabetes risk. Future studies are warranted to test this risk assessment tool in other racial/ethnic young adults.

Publication types

  • Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Adult
  • Area Under Curve
  • Blood Glucose / analysis
  • Diabetes Mellitus, Type 2 / diagnosis*
  • Diagnostic Self Evaluation*
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Indians, North American
  • Logistic Models
  • Male
  • Mass Screening / methods*
  • ROC Curve
  • Risk Assessment / methods*
  • Risk Factors
  • Young Adult


  • Blood Glucose